Thursday, 30 October 2014

Let It Go...And Listen To Your Friends!

The film:
Let It Go (2014)

The under-the-radar-factor:
Micro-budget production has had a few theatrical screenings but is mostly making the rounds with VOD distribution via Cinema Zero. As of this writing, a 15 minute preview of the feature is available. 

The review:

Many years ago my first real girlfriend had decided we could/should no longer carry on a relationship. In my heart of hearts I knew we were kaput as a couple but another part couldn't accept that. I had a determination to win her back that lasted for a couple of weeks but was never acted upon through any attempts on my part. In other words, I saved myself a lot of embarrassment over what I later realized was indeed a much needed parting of the ways.

I wish I could have commiserated with Jeremy, the character played by Andrew Leland Rogers in director Tom Wilton's black and white micro-budget effort Let It Go. But of course, if I had suggested he should follow what I did...or didn't do...we might not have had this film, right?

How does that story go about the best laid plans? It just so happens the day that Jeremy has picked to propose to his live-in gal-pal Steph (Gillian Visco) is the same one she's lined up to call off their relationship. He's just shared his dreams with his old friend Frankie (Maria McIndoo, who also co-wrote the screenplay), while Steph has revealed her break-up plans to her buddy Ryan (Josh Hawkins). Upon officially splitting, the two ex's go into their own separate tailspins. Steph hits the party circuit and indulges in the kind of alcohol fueled behavior that Ryan has embarrassingly had to bear witness to before. Jeremy is more on the numbed side and it's up to Frankie, who's lent him her couch as a temp residence, to try to get him back into the swing of things. Setting the wheels in motion for him to go out on dates with her friends turns out to be a waste of time; Jeremy can only blabber away on details about the woman who has left him behind. Steph manages to convince Ryan to join her for an out of town Christmas time break from it all, just as Jeremy coaxes Frankie to accompany him on an adventure meant as an attempt to reconnect with the lady he has lost.

Take a gander...

I quite liked McIndoo's own feature Say It Like It Is ("Let It Go"..."Say It Like It Is"...hmm, such frank piece-of-advice type of titles from these guys) and was looking forward to her collaboration with Wilton here. This film does start slowly, the visuals are not given any groundbreaking treatment by way of either the cinematography or editing, and it's hardly an indie flick trying to rock the cinematic world. At the same time, it still has that genuine slice-of-life quality that McIndoo's movie possessed, with, gratefully, no attempt to slop on the melodramatics that one might expect from a film that centers...

...well, I was going to say from a film that centers around the breakup of a relationship, but that's not really the case here. Let It Go is far less about the disintegration of Jeremy's world with Steph's, as it is about these two people's relationships with their friends. Friends who know you may end up acting a little drunk and stupid; who excuse the fact that one tries to plant a kiss on them in a moment of emotional anguish and confusion; who'll stick by you even after you've heaved into their shoe...more than once; who won't make fun of you as you react to your first toke... (well, won't make MUCH fun of you)...

To a great extent that's what Let It Go is really about - the subtle celebration of friendship! Friendship through thick and thin, through the laughs and the really annoying stuff. The likeable cast (McIndoo is particularly good and I hope she makes more appearances in front of the lens) are definitely up to taking the viewer along for this quiet but warm ride.

Let It Go is a rewarding put-your-feet up and relax experience for those with the patience to allow the film to find its footing, which it eventually does. So overall, if you're in the mood for a simple but sweet journey, I would recommend checking it out. But don't watch it alone...even though I'm not calling this a "date" film...

Watch it with a friend. Your best friend. That one who will always be there for you... and vice-versa.

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